Coinbase execs sold nearly $250 million in company stock in the past month alone, as the crypto exchange’s share price attempts to recover from its 50% collapse.
That makes over $5.44 billion cashed in at the hands of Coinbase insiders over the company’s first 145 days on the NASDAQ.
Silicon Valley icon Marc Andreeseen — one titular half of venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) — has sold over $188 million worth of Coinbase shares in the past month, more than any insider.
Andreessen is both 10% owner at Coinbase and company director. Coinbase stock is up about 8% since this time in August.
The rest of the month’s sales were generated by Coinbase general counsel Paul Grewal ($24 million), co-founder Fred Ehrsam ($19.3 million), director Kathryn Haun ($5.6 million), product lead Surojit Chatterjee ($5.4 million), and chief accountant Jennifer Jones ($1.8 million).
Direct listings differ from initial public offerings (IPOs), in that companies don’t raise funds by selling newly-created shares to investors.
Instead, direct listings enable company executives and other shareholders to offload their existing shares.
Direct listings can be considered a liquidity event for insiders to cash in their stock.
One VC sold 66% of insider sales to date
Coinbase insiders copped flak for dumping billions in company stock in the wake of its direct listing on April 14.
No Coinbase figure has cashed in more than company director and venture capitalist Fred Wilson.
Wilson and his New York fund Union Square Ventures (USV) together dumped over $3.6 billion in Coinbase stock on the company’s first day of trade.
Coinbase hit its all-time high of $428.93 about one hour after its listing. The Delaware-headquartered firm’s share price nearly halved over the following month, hitting a low of about $208 on May 19.
Wilson and USV are yet to offload any more stock, despite Coinbase recovering over 30% since its all-time low.
Coinbase quick to defend executive stock sales
Curiously, Coinbase felt the need to respond to online criticism about the sheer volume of insider stock sales — which seems to have inspired its share price to tank.
In a blog post two weeks after going public, Coinbase compared the company’s direct listing to four other companies that’d done the same thing.
Coinbase reviewed insider sales of Slack, Roblox, Asana, and Palantir, and calculated what percentage of their individual holdings they’d sold after those companies went public.
“Asana’s executive officers sold 1.67%; Palantir’s executive officers sold 7.29%; Roblox executive officers sold 4.21%; and Slack executives sold 4.18% of total executive officer holdings. Coinbase Section 16 officers sold 3.32% of total Section 16 officer holdings,” wrote Coinbase.
Well, Protos reviewed insider sales of those companies in the first 145 days after their direct listings — the length of time Coinbase has been public.
Turns out, Coinbase insiders have dumped over 40% more than executives from those four companies combined.
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Update 19:51 UTC, Sept 8: Data updated to reflect sales disclosed on September 7.